A typical semi-truck in the United States is about 72 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.5 feet high. When fully loaded, a semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Given their sheer size and weight, semi-truck accidents often have devastating consequences, especially for smaller or lightweight vehicles involved in the crash. Victims often end up with significant property damage and injuries, and some victims die from the collision’s impact.
If you or someone close to you suffered harm from a semi-truck accident, you might have the right to seek compensation. A Lehigh Acres semi-truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you pursue compensation for your damages.
Essential Steps to Take After an Accident
What you do after a truck accident can impact your claim for damages. Insurance adjusters and liable parties might offer you a small settlement or deny your claim altogether. As such, you may want to take the following steps to protect your legal rights after a truck accident:
Seek Medical Help
Get treated and checked by a healthcare professional, even if you do not seem to have injuries. A proper health assessment can determine if you have unseen injuries that might affect you later, such as internal bleeding or whiplash.
The longer you delay seeking medical attention, the higher the possibility of reduced or denied compensation. In most cases, the insurance company or liable party may argue that your injuries were not accident-related. Visit your doctor or a hospital as soon as possible or within the first 24 hours of the incident.
Gather information from the other party. If the truck driver is an employee for a company, obtain their employer’s name. If possible, take a photograph or video of the scene after the accident. Do not forget to call the authorities and file a crash report as required per Florida Statute § 316.066. Obtain a copy and collect evidence to strengthen your claim for damages.
Consult with Our Law Firm
Whether you file an insurance claim or pursue litigation for personal injury, you might benefit from having a Lehigh Acres semi-truck accident lawyer by your side. Although you can proceed without one, it could prove more challenging, particularly if you lack legal experience and knowledge. An attorney from our firm will assist and guide you every step of the process to fight for compensation on your behalf.
Proving Liability in the Semi-Truck Accident
When seeking damages following a semi-truck accident, you will need to prove the offending party’s liability. The liable party pays for damages, such as destroyed property, medical bills, lost earnings, and other related expenses. In some instances, there are multiple parties involved apart from the at-fault driver. It may include the trucking company, vehicle owner, loader of goods, or vehicle parts manufacturer, as each might have contributed to the accident.
Sorting out liability is often harder than it looks—who appears to be at fault may not necessarily be the responsible party. Your attorney will look at collected evidence and apply the relevant theory of liability. Negligence is a commonly used doctrine in identifying who should be liable and, by extension, must pay for the resulting damages.
Asserting negligence against the semi-truck driver is straightforward—they failed to act with care, causing harm to others. However, it is also possible that the driver’s employer or goods loader acted unreasonably, contributing indirectly to the accident.
A Lehigh Acres semi-truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can prove clear-cut liability. To do so, they can gather substantial proof such as driving logs, electronic data, maintenance records, and vehicle inspection reports.
Settlement Amount Varies for Every Case
Under personal injury law, a victim can only receive compensation if they can prove the other party’s liability for the accident. They must also show how the incident impacted them—did it lead to injuries and cause financial burden? If yes, they may have a strong case to recover monetary damages; otherwise, they may not be entitled to anything.
To better understand how much you could receive, a Lehigh Acres semi-truck accident lawyer can help you determine a fair settlement amount. They will factor in actual costs incurred and future losses, especially if the crash has left you unable to work. Even with Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) requirements set by Florida Statute § 627.736, you may still recover compensation for medical expenses and lost earnings exceeding $10,000.
Your accident attorney will also consider noneconomic damages or those related to your pain and suffering. These do not have exact amounts, so your lawyer will establish a reasonable value for emotional distress.
Sometimes, the other party may also point out your negligent actions that contributed to the accident. If you are partly at fault, you may still seek compensation from those liable, although at a reduced amount per Florida Statute § 768.81.
Because of the above factors, your awarded compensation will likely differ from similar truck accident cases.
Understanding Time Limits and Their Impact
Some victims may need a lot of time to recover, and legal matters concerning the accident may not be a priority during recovery. However, delays in pursuing personal injury claims can have costly repercussions.
In Florida, there is limited time to bring forth an injury claim. Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a) states that victims have four years after the accident date to file a case. Once the deadline lapses, you may no longer be able to seek monetary damages—even if you have a valid case.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Pursuing an injury claim is challenging, especially if it is related to a truck accident. A Lehigh Acres semi-truck accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will help you throughout the entire ordeal, so you can focus on recovering from the crash. Call 1-800-747-3733 today for a free case evaluation with a team member.
We Can Help.